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JST Press Release

25th March 2013
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666
URL http://www.jst.go.jp/EN/index.html

Discovery that immune cells in the brain promote survival of the corticospinal neurons

We found that microglia, immune cells in the brain, are necessary for survival of the corticospinal neurons during the developmental stage. IGF-1, secreted by microglia, turned out to be critical for this effect. This discovery is expected to contribute to development of new therapy to neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS.

Researcher Information

JST CREST Research Area “Elucidation of the Principles of Formation and Function of the Brain Neural Network and Creation of Control Technologies”,
Research Theme: “Elucidation of mechanisms of neural network reorganization and functional recovery after brain injury”

Journal Information

Published in the scientific journal “Nature Neuroscience”
Masaki Ueno, Yuki Fujita, Tatsuhide Tanaka, Yuka Nakamura, Junichi Kikuta, Masaru Ishii & Toshihide Yamashita
“Layer V cortical neurons require microglial support for survival during postnatal development” Nature Neuroscience, 2013
doi: 10.1038/nn.3358


[About Research]
Toshihide Yamashita, MD, Ph.D.,
Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University

[About Program]
Life Innovation Group, Department of Innovation Research,
Japan Science and Technology Agency
Shigeru Ishimasa,


JST, an integrated organization of science and technology in Japan, establishes an infrastructure for the entire process from the creation of knowledge to the return to the society. For more information, visit http://www.jst.go.jp/EN/